MBDA, a prominent missile producer in Europe, is resuming the manufacture of its PARM, an anti-tank mine from the Cold War era, known for its tripwire activation mechanism. This move is in response to a substantial order from Germany to restock the mines they distribute to Ukraine.
Germany’s Federal Office for Equipment Procurement confirmed the acquisition of 2,600 off-route mines from TDW, a subsidiary of MBDA, on Tuesday. They also have the option to purchase up to 10,000 additional units. The project, which received approval from Germany’s Parliamentary Budget Committee, is estimated to cost around €68 million (approximately $74 million).
Andreas Seitz, TDW’s Managing Director, stated that this order marks the beginning of their production capacity expansion. He added that Germany, along with other nations, will utilize PARM to improve their territory-denial capabilities.
The peace that Europe had been enjoying for several decades was shattered when Russia invaded Ukraine, leading to the resurgence of high-intensity and tactical warfare. Both nations deployed thousands of tanks and armored vehicles. Mines have been a significant part of the strategy to deter attacks from either side. Germany has contributed to this by supplying Ukraine with about 14,900 anti-tank mines.
TDW plans to start producing a demonstration batch for the PARM DM22 in 2025, with the first series of deliveries expected to reach German troops in 2026. Future orders can be placed in increments of 1,000 units, according to the procurement office’s announcement.
The weapon, which was developed and brought to life by TDW in the 90s, was initially used by the German Bundeswehr. However, production ceased in 1998, following the end of the Cold War. After a hiatus of 25 years, the reintroduction of its production will require recertification, as conveyed by Günter Abel, MBDA Germany’s spokesperson, in an email to Defense News.
Abel indicates that the company anticipates significant export opportunities, primarily among NATO members in Northern and Eastern Europe. This is due to these NATO and EU countries increasingly recognizing the need to protect their borders from potential threats.
“Although PARM was originally designed as an anti-tank weapon system for the Cold War, it has demonstrated its reliability and effectiveness against modern main battle tanks in current warfare,” Abel said. “This is currently driving a spike in demand.”
The fully automated directional mine is a powerful instrument. It is designed to destroy tanks and armored vehicles and is mounted on a robust tripod. The PARM contains a shaped charge capable of causing significant damage at a distance. It can be activated either by an advanced fiber-optical sensor or remotely for more covert operations.
Remarkably, a single soldier can carry this system, according to MBDA. TDW is leading the way in anti-access/area-denial systems and warheads, says Thomas Gottschild, MBDA Germany’s Managing Director.
He added, “The acquisition of PARM allows a return to regular production, making it the most readily available and formidable roadside counter-mobility system.”